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Red-hot Reds, snow storms and victorious Villa – Premier League talking points
It was another action-packed weekend in the top flight.
Manchester United held Premier League leaders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge for some much-needed respite.
Liverpool kept on scoring, Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa honeymoon continued and snow was the winner at Burnley.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from the latest round of Premier League matches.
United need swift Rangnick arrival
Ralf Rangnick’s arrival as interim manager at Manchester United can not come quick enough. Caretaker Michael Carrick’s United might have held league leaders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw but it was a point that belonged firmly to the fortunate category. Chelsea dominated the shots department – 24 to three – with Jadon Sancho gifted the opening goal by Jorginho’s mistake on the halfway line. It was a brave backs-to-the-wall exercise from United most of the time, and the experienced Rangnick knows he has a big job on to turn things around at Old Trafford.
Liverpool goals record
Anfield saw its second 4-0 romp in a week with Southampton blown away in the same fashion as Arsenal seven days earlier. Dioga Jota’s second goal was Liverpool’s 700th since Jurgen Klopp took charge in October 2015. Liverpool have now scored in 27 consecutive games in all competitions but an even more impressive record was claimed on Saturday. Liverpool have now scored at least two goals in their last 17 Premier League games. It is a record in the top flight matched only by Sunderland, way back in 1927.
Gerrard makes it look easy
Two games. Two wins. Steven Gerrard has hit the ground running at Aston Villa. A 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace on the back of an opening success against Brighton saw Gerrard become only the second Villa manager to win his first two Premier League games, after John Gregory in 1998. It is about to get a lot more difficult for Gerrard with Villa’s next three opponents being Manchester City, Leicester and his former club Liverpool. But, for now, Villa are looking upwards and not nervously over their shoulder.
Snow joke at Burnley
Winter struck early in the north as heavy snowfall was brought by Storm Arwen. Burnley’s clash with Tottenham at Turf Moor was called off a little under an hour before kick-off. Attempts to clear the pitch were in vain as the undersoil heating struggled to cope and snow fell as quickly as it could be removed. Manchester City beat West Ham 2-1 in snowy conditions after the interval had been extended to clear the pitch.
History against Newcastle survival
Eddie Howe was in the Newcastle dugout for the first time but it was the same old story for the Toon Army. A 2-0 defeat at Arsenal leaves Newcastle winless from 13 games and six points from Premier League safety. Cash will be splashed in January following the recent Saudi-backed takeover, but will it be too late with games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United before then? Ominously, Newcastle are the sixth team to fail to win any of their opening 13 games in a Premier League season – and four of the previous five sides were relegated.